Is a Siberian Kitten the Right Pet for You?

(Katelyn Lee)

 Have you often admired the long, luxurious fur of the Siberian Cat? Their long hair certainly makes them appear to be a cuddly companion. What is their temperament really like, though? Will they make a good fit for your family?

                But First, a Little History

          Surely, you can guess where these felines originate from? That’s right, they come from Siberia! In fact, they are the national cat of their country. They’ve been around for many, many years. They go back as far as 1000AD, but very little is known about them until about 1980 when their popularity rose. One thing we do know is that they attended the very first cat show in the 1870s. Around the year 1980 when they became more popular the Kotofei Cat Club created the first breed standards for the Siberian in Moscow. They were introduced to the United States in 1990, and although they are well known not many are owned.

                Breed Standard

                One of the appealing aspects of owning a Siberian is their luxurious long fur. It is believed that most long haired cat breeds are ancestors of the Siberian, most notably the Norwegian Forest Cat. Their fur has three essential parts to it: guard hairs, awn hairs, and down suitable for harsh weather. Studies have also shown that they can be considered hypo-allergenic. Siberians posses a large, bony skeletal system suitable for leaping great heights, medium sized ears, large chests, large paws and strong back legs which will all fully develop at about five years of age. They can be any colors or markings.

’Jeff, a Norwegian Forest Cat, cousin to the Siberian

                Personality

          These cats have big personalities! They are very intelligent and can be easily taught tricks and basic commands. A lot of owners have reported that they have a very serious curiosity about water and love to play with toys in it. They are great with other pets and children, with an easy going personality, yet energetic and agile playfulness. They are very loyal to many people. The Siberian is also a very notably vocal cat. Overall, they are wonderful, affectionate pets.

          The Ideal Owner for Siberians

          All pets require care, but some require more than others. Siberian Cats are great beginner pets, but here are some things that you need to consider:

  • Do you have other pets? Siberians can easily get along with other cats or dogs, but keep all cats away from small pets such as rodents or fish.
  • Do you have children? Siberians are great with visitors and children!
  • How many hours per week can you devote to grooming your cat? Despite their long hair Siberians only need to be groomed twice a week because of their textured fur.
  • How patient are you with training? Siberians should be easily trained, but not all cats fit their breed standards exactly.
  • Can you devote many hours to playing and bonding with your cat? Siberians love people and need some time set aside to be played with and loved on.
  • Can you provide enough mental stimulation for your Siberian? A bored cat can be a naughty cat! Good toys and some one on one time with their humans is a must.
  • Will your cat be outdoors in extreme hot or cold weather? Siberians can withstand extreme cold weather, but if you live in a place that is very hot you may want to keep kitty indoors. This is a longer haired cat, after all.
  • Can you afford veterinary care and food for your pet? No matter what breed of cat you get you will need to take them to annual check-ups with a cat savvy vet. Not to mention buy food and toys for your friend.

If a Siberian sounds like the right breed for you contact your local shelters or breeders and start searching for the perfect addition to your family!

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